Friday, January 30, 2015

Instagram Friday

The dress on the bottom right is actually my initial idea for the Red Poppy fabric! It morphed as I got a better idea ran out of time and needed something simpler. ;-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Red Poppy Dress

A couple years ago, while visiting my husband's family in Paris, I made my first visit to the fabric stores at the Marché Saint Pierre in Montmartre! I especially loved the "coupons" stores, with already cut fabric at discount prices. I bought several different fabrics, and then before our next trip to France the following year, I finally got around to using one of them to make this dress.

As usual, before trips I get frantic thinking I have to make an entirely new wardrobe! So I made this pretty quickly, but actually did a decent job finishing it inside and out for once, ha. I was very pleased with the result, I really loved the fabric - a textured cotton (not sure if there's a name for it?) with red poppies on it. I used the bodice from Simplicity 1803, view B.

I really like the princess seams on the bodice, they are flattering and easy to adjust as always.

I also really liked this sleeve! I usually dread putting sleeves in, but the little cap sleeve with a simple inverted pleat went in easily, and I love the tiniest bit of pouf.

As for the skirt portion, I didn't use the pattern because I wanted a pleated skirt with a flat front (and back.) The fabric has a nice body, so the pleats came out nicely. I was also able to hide pockets among them!

I also fully lined the bodice instead of using facings as the pattern suggests, and fully lined the skirt as well. I even covered my shoulder seams with lace tape, which makes it so nice and clean on the inside! I love the lack of stray threads and fraying.

Overall, it went together easily and is very comfortable to wear. If I were to change anything, I'd add just a couple inches to the length, just because I feel most comfortable in dresses a few inches below my knee! But I love the fabric, and even though the pattern isn't a vintage one, I think the end result has a vintage feel.

 Here I am in France enjoying my dress! :-) Of course, I had to go buy more fabric while we were there, so I have much more to use for our next trip!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Pinspiration Monday - Housecoats

Am I alone in wishing housecoats or dressing robes were still a thing? I suppose I love the idea of a pretty dress-like garment to cover up my comfy but ugly sweats, lol, to be able to glide around the house in a lovely full skirt, to grab breakfast looking glamorous without yet being dressed. There are so many great vintage patterns out there, though if I used one it would have to be altered quite a bit to fit me! The great thing, though, is since it's just an outer garment to wear around the house, it doesn't have to be perfect. This is the kind of thing I'd LOVE to make to sell, too. Perhaps I'll get the courage to try one someday! In the meantime, here are some lovely examples of housecoats and dressing gowns to drool over. :-)

 Love the kerchief tie at the front on this one!
Those sleeves!
That inverted pleat at the back! Just scrumptious.
 Finally, some quilted lovelies. It's like wearing a blanket that makes you look fabulous!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Instagram Friday

Here's a little sneak peak of my ongoing fabric organizing spree! I'll have some nice before and after pictures once I'm done. There's nothing more inspiring than a clean and organized sewing space! It's amazing how just folding and organizing fabric suddenly makes me fall in love with fabrics I bought all over again. :-)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge

I saw a few people here and there mention the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge last year as I perused various sewing blogs, but didn't really stop to investigate it. Then last week someone mentioned that it's on again for this year, and so I decided to look into it to see if I might want to join. Then I read this:
"For those of you who don't know, it all started last year when I realised I've been buying vintage and reproduction sewing patterns faster than I can sew them, so I pledged to use at least five of them during 2014."

So apparently I'm not the only one who hoards patterns at astounding rates without getting around to using most of them, lol! I knew then it was definitely something I needed to do too. So I pledged to make 5 of my (repro) vintage patterns during 2015. Looking through my Current Pattern Stash board, these are a few of my top choices!

I'm a sucker for cropped jackets, and I have two patterns with them that I really want to try! Love the neckline of the first, but as a large-busted woman I'm always a little nervous about dresses that require special bras or strapless.

Butterick 4792

Vogue 2267
I almost used this pattern for my Christmas dress (view B as I shy away from halters for the bra reasons mentioned above!) but ended up using a different pattern. This one has been stuck in my head since, though, I love the long smooth waist and gathered bust.
Butterick 6049

I tend to be a sucker for full skirts, which means I often end up overlooking dresses with sleeker lines. I did the same thing with this pattern, until I saw Lily's stunning silk version, and then I wanted to make it NOW, but I was in the middle of 5 bridesmaids dresses so I couldn't, lol.

Butterick 5880
I also love this one, one of Gertie's patterns, because of the bust detail. Speaking of Gertie, I got her 2nd book for Christmas, and still haven't made anything from her first! So I think one of my 5 pledged patterns should definitely be from one of her books. 

Butterick 5813

 So those are just some of the choices at the top of my list. Now, as much as I hoard patterns, I'm even worse about hoarding fabric! I have a few nice sized pieces of yardage, several that I picked up in Montmartre on our trips to France, and they sit there because I feel like I need to do something special with them! But I really just need to decide to use them and do it, otherwise I'll never get to enjoy them, right? So along with my pledge to make 5 vintage patterns, I pledge to use at least 2 of these fabrics.
This repeating pattern is HUGE, it will make such a statement piece on a dress! I just need to figure out the perfect pattern to use and placement for the biggest impact. It's a gorgeous cotton sateen, one of the fabrics I picked up in France.
This is another really great print I got in France, it's a repeating print that could be used as a border print, also a lovely cotton sateen! Hard to see the scale, but it's also very large.
Now, this black and white print is one I picked up at Joann's with a super coupon, I have 5+ yards! It has a really nice weight to it, would make a fantastic dress.
Alright, so enough dreaming! I have so many possibilities, my brain just loves to jump ahead and make new plans but I certainly want to see those plans come to fruition, which is exactly why I've made the pledges I have. I added the button on my sidebar as a reminder to myself, feel free to click on it if you want to join too.  Can't wait to get sewing!


Monday, January 19, 2015

Pinspiration Monday - Bows

Oh how I love bows! I could happily stick bows on almost anything. Bows on hats, bows on shoes, bows on gloves! Bows on lamps, on pillows, on jewelry, on packages, and of course bows on dresses. Here are some darling uses of bows that make me smile!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Old Hollywood Costume Aprons

I had an interesting request last month from someone who is opening up a theme party venue for kids and teens. One of the themes is Old Hollywood, and she asked if I could make 15 costume aprons for teens based on iconic dresses like Audrey Hepburn's little black Breakfast at Tiffany's dress, Marilyn Monroe's white dress, etc. It was a project right up my alley! I did several based on specific dresses, and then the rest were just retro inspired fancy dresses.

Here are the results, aprons on the left.

Audrey Hepburn - Breakfast at Tiffany's
Marilyn Monroe - Pink Dress while singing "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend"
Marilyn Monroe - Iconic White Dress

Elizabeth Taylor
Grace Kelly - Rear Window
I Love Lucy Red Gingham Dress
I Love Lucy - Classic Polka Dot Dress